The Spring Branch Management District is home to both of the touring immersive Vincent van Gogh exhibits coming to Houston this year.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is up and running at The Marq’E Entertainment Center.
Immersive Van Gogh, while delayed, will open this month at 1314 Brittmoore Rd., which is next to flexible workspace and startup community The Cannon and behind The Powder Keg Houston, an open-air bar with sand volleyball courts and dog park.
The competing, ticketed shows offer strolls through cavernous adaptions of the 19th Century Dutch painter’s vivid works.
Diana Rayzman, on behalf of Immersive Van Gogh, said the official opening day for the Brittmoore Road exhibit is Thursday, Oct. 14. Immersive Van Gogh was created by Italian installation artist Massimiliano Siccardi, whose work was seen by over 2 million visitors in Paris and was featured on Netflix’s “Emily in Paris.”
The delay in Houston, Rayzman said, was due to a location issue.
“The original space we were looking at ultimately wasn’t able to showcase the experience the way we envisioned, so our creative team needed more time to find the right space to produce the best exhibit possible for Houston audiences,” Rayzman said. “We would never put out a show that is below our standards, and we’re confident you’re going to love the original Immersive Van Gogh exhibit when it opens in October.”
The new space, a 16,500-square-foot converted warehouse, which they are calling Lighthouse Artspace Houston, has a “nice big open flow” and provides a blank canvas for custom execution specific to Houston culture, Rayzman said.
“We have made sure to include a lot of great winks and nods back to the great city of Houston and proud Texas culture,” she said.
Rowan Doyle is the creative director of Immersive Van Gogh and has received positive press and reviews from the Phoenix/Scottsdale show that she designed.
For the Houston exhibit, Doyle is planning:
— A Sunflower Pick Up Truck: A vintage Ford pickup truck given the full van Gogh treatment, bright yellow and sunny — much like the well-loved flower of his many paintings. T will be parked outside for a special photo moment before entering.
— A Van Gogh Chapel: A love letter to the great city of Houston and the Rothko Chapel, which is meant to be a contemplative moment and space before entering the main gallery.
— Texas State Sunflower Sign: A nod to the location and the bright and sunny demeanor of Texas spirit.
Besides the blank canvas that the warehouse provided, the location at The Cannon was a plus in site selection, Rayzman said.
“We have large audiences coming through our venue, so we try to find locations that can benefit the local community as part of our impact mission. It’s important to us to always shine a light on local businesses and develop partnerships in the communities we’re going into,” Rayzman said.
The growing Spring Branch District area was a draw as well, she said: “There is a lot of development happening in the area and that that was very appealing to us.”
While there are just two in Houston, at least five companies are battling to dominate a new field in the art and entertainment world — the immersive van Gogh field.
The folks at Artnet News, a leading online resource for the international art market that put out a “Guide to Every Single One of the Nearly 50 Immersive Van Gogh Experiences Blanketing the U.S,” have never seen anything like it.
“As far as we can remember, there has never been a phenomenon like the immersive van Gogh craze currently sweeping America,” Artnet said.
Madi Boring, account coordinator with the firm Hunt & Gather on behalf of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, said that van Gogh exhibit will remain at the Marq’E through December.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is a product of a partnership between producer Exhibition Hub and entertainment platform Fever.
First conceptualized in 2016, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience debuted in Naples, Italy in 2018. Since then the exhibition has had successful runs in over a dozen cities throughout Europe and Asia, including Brussels, Beijing, Barcelona, Milan and Tel Aviv.
“The experience is very popular and tickets are selling fast,” Boring said.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
Marq’E Entertainment Center
7620 Katy Freeway, Building 3B, Suite 360
Immersive Van Gogh
Lighthouse Artspace Houston
1314 Brittmoore Rd.
— by Dorothy Puch Lillig